JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen (US-NY) Jewish Theological Seminary Library to Close Until 2018 #general

Jan Meisels Allen

The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) Library was founded in 1893 and the JTS
Library is recognized as the largest Jewish library outside of Israel with hundreds
of thousands of books and tens of thousands of rare books, manuscripts and more.
Special collections include ketubot, haggadot and more. But what is of most
interest to genealogists is the collection and the efforts to collect the cultural
heritage. While this started in 1903, what is most important is the collection
from the 1930's when the war clouds in Europe were stirring and the
anti-Semitism was rising. JTS is Conservative Judaism's largest rabbinic seminary.
To read more about the history of JTS go to: To view some of the treasures go to: The JTS is located in New York City on the
upper West Side.

The JTS is planning to sell off real estate assets to developers with air rights
to its main campus to ease a years-long financial crunch. The school will replace
its current library building with a new library and conference center. JTS plans
to close its library the end of December 2015 through sometime in 2018. The
school's religious study hall will be built into the new library. The temporary
closing of the rare books collection is only one change coming. Seventy-five
percent of the library's circulating collection and archives will be in storage
once the new library is constructed. The intent is to eventually digitize much
of the collection once measures necessary for conservation are implemented in order
to maintain these valuable and irreplaceable materials. To view the JTS's Library
and its collections see:

To read more about the impending closure go to:
Original url:

In 2014, Dr. Janette Silverman, Outreach Director for the William Davidson
Graduate School of Jewish Education of The Jewish Theological Seminary spoke
at the IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy about the JTS treasures
that so many of us did not know existed. Several of our societies(including JGSCV)
have been privileged to have Janette come and talk to us about what is there and
how to access the archives and library. The archives are a treasure yet to be
explored by so many of us and yet it is a rich repository of records of
Jewish communities, institutions and prominent individuals in the US and Europe.

If you are planning on researching on any of the JTS treasures this is the time to
do so.

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee
President, JGSCV

Join to automatically receive all group messages.